Local businesses keep drinks flowing despite glass bottle shortage

glass bottle
Posted at 11:16 PM, Dec 29, 2021

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – In the heart of Tarnished Truth Distilling Company in Virginia Beach, owner Andrew Yancey has no problem keeping the vats full.

“This is our bourbon we’re making here,” Yancey said. “We’re stocked up for New Year’s. It’s one of the biggest drinking holidays so we’re ready for it.”

But global issues pose a real threat to his business along with other distilleries and wineries.

“We’re having a tough time getting everything from employees to bottles to corks and we’re doing our best keep up with demand,” said Yancey, who also owns The Hunt Room, which is also inside The Cavalier Hotel.

The country is facing a glass bottle shortage. It’s just the latest snag in the supply chain issue.

“That’s the bread and butter of our business is selling liquor and if you have nothing to put it in, there’s no revue coming in,” Yancey said.

Worker and trucker shortages and high demand are leading to higher prices.

Yancey said he’s paying triple the amount for shipping costs but has managed to hold the line on his prices, so it doesn’t get passed down to the consumer.

“We’ve just eaten it right now,” he said. “We’re basically saying this is the cost of doing business during this time and we’re assuming that it’s going to go down.”

Yancey isn’t the only one.

Randy Thomas, who co-owns The Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery in Hampton said he’s has had to switch to a new bottle design and labeling just to avoid running out.

“We did not choose to raise our prices,” said Thomas. “We made the decision to change from our existing bottle to a new bottle and right now we don’t have a problem getting the new line of bottles that we’ve switched to. I hope that doesn’t change.”

Switching bottles and labels means more costs that could eventually trickle down to consumers.

Raising prices isn’t something Yancey wants to do, but with no way to know when the bottle shortage will ease, he might not have a choice.

Yancey said, “We’ll make our way through it, but it’s been tough.”

Bottle labels and corks are also hard to come by because of the supply chain problems.